The R62 is a New York City Subway car built between 1983 and 1985 by Kawasaki Heavy Industries in Kobe, Japan, serving the A Division (IRT). The R62s were used to replace the remaining R12s, R14s and R15s in service.

Description Edit

The R62s are numbered 1301–1625, totaling 325 cars. Each car was purchased at an average price of US$918,293.

The R62 was the first stainless steel and air-conditioned subway car built for the "A" Division. A graffiti-resistant glaze was applied to all of the cars because of the extensive graffiti tagging of nearly all of the subway cars in the system since 1971. They were originally going to continue a controversial interior design by employing bucket seating on the cars, but soon the plan was scrapped after many studies that the bucket seating for the R62 fleet would have been very narrow with each seat being about 17 inches (430 mm) wide compared to bucket seating on the B Division's 75-foot long R44, R46, R68, and R68A car models, all of which are much more wider. But because A Division cars are narrower than B Division cars, the aforementioned original plan for the R62s to have bucket seats would have reduced the number of seats per car when compared to standard bench seating, but allowed for higher standing capacity. So instead, all future new A Division subway cars starting with the R62 order were built with bench seating, even on the B Division starting with the R143 order.

The R62 has full-width cabs at the ends of each 5-car set, but retains intermediate half-width cabs in the remaining cab positions, as the trains were originally built as single cars.

History Edit

Car orderEdit

After the R36 cars were delivered in 1963–1964, no more IRT cars were built for another 20 years. Several rolling stock orders were proposed for the IRT during this time. In 1966, a lightweight R39 subway car, similar to the ones used on the Market–Frankford Line in Philadelphia, was proposed for the oldest elevated IRT and BMT lines; however, this proposal failed because most of the remaining elevated lines were demolished instead. In 1973, another proposal to replace the R12 through R17 series was deferred because not enough voters approved it. Finally, in 1979, with the bus and train fleets in poor and decrepit shape, the New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA) looked into capital maintenance and bond acts to replace the oldest IRT cars (the R12s, R14s, R15s, and R17s) and to rebuild and refurbish newer (at the time) IRT cars (R21s and beyond). A bond issue for 136 new IRT cars was approved, and funds were procured for another new 1,014 IRT cars in 1981. These cars were referred to as the "R62" contract. The R62 order was originally proposed as an order of 260 64-foot (20 m) cars, but the selected plan called for 325 51.4-foot (15.7 m) IRT cars instead.

In July 1981, the NYCTA began the bidding process for 325 cars under the R62 contract. Nissho-Iwai American Corp, the parent company of Japanese train car builder Kawasaki Heavy Industries, was the lowest bidder for the initial 325 cars, while American company Budd Company submitted a high bid for the initial contract, and a low bid for the rest of the cars. The NYCTA did not want to award the large contract to a single builder, as it did in 1975–1978 with the R46s (which were plagued by mechanical problems and cracks in the chassis).

The R62 contract was ordered on April 12, 1982, and awarded to Kawasaki Heavy Industries. This was the first time a foreign company was chosen to build cars for the New York City Subway. Because a 1981 law now allowed the MTA and suppliers to broker contracts rather than accept the lowest bid, the MTA awarded the base contract to Kawasaki.


The cars entered revenue testing on the 4 on November 29, 1983; and were also tested on all other A Division routes. The cars entered service on May 7, 1984, as part of the Car Appearance Program. Soon after delivery, the cars also proved themselves much less prone to breakdowns than previous rolling stock. All 325 cars were in service by August 1985, making the 4 the first entirely graffiti-free service in the system in many years. The R62 fleet is currently based out of the Livonia Avenue shop facility in Brooklyn, operating on the 3 and 42nd Street Shuttle.

Kawasaki did not wish to build the additional cars the MTA wanted as a separate part of the R62 order, under contract R62A, for the same price. Bombardier, an Integrated Transportation rail car company headquartered in Montreal, won a contract to supply these additional 825 cars under a license from Kawasaki.

See also Edit

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